Lauren Cohan, who exited The Walking Dead after a seven-year run in favor of a leading role on ABC spy action-comedy Whiskey Cavalier, is unlikely to return to the world of the roaming undead full time.
Cohan is anticipated to come back for Season Ten, albeit in a guest role, but it seems the 37-year-old actress will not be returning to her position as an opening credits-billed series regular even if Whiskey doesn’t live to see a second season: when appearing at the Television Critics Association press tour, Cohan said she “had the pick of the litter” for roles post-Walking Dead and opted for her new show because she “got to go to a territory that was fun.”
“I was just like, I’ve done this show for a long time,” Cohan said when explaining why she left The Walking Dead. “It was a long time to play a character, and sometimes you just get quiet and listen to your inner guidance and it’s time to multitask.”
Though Cohan headlined horror movie The Boy and appeared alongside Mark Wahlberg in the Peter Berg-directed Mile 22, she is for the first time at the direct center of her own series with co-lead Scott Foley in Whiskey Cavalier.
Even with its future up in the air — ratings tracking website TV By the Numbers says Whiskey’s fate is a “tossup between renewal and cancellation” by May, after the site earlier this month reported the new series was “dangerously close to likely cancellation territory” — the potential cancellation of Whiskey shouldn’t be taken as an indication Cohan will reboard The Walking Dead as a series regular, especially with its upcoming season already long in the works.
“I hope it’ll work. We’ll cross that bridge [when we get to it],” Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang told ComicBook.com in October of working around Cohan’s commitments to Whiskey. “Lauren and I have had conversations, and she’s excited to come back, even if it’s not for a full season. We can work with that.”
Kang said it’s nothing more than “scheduling problems,” explaining, “We’ll figure out the story. She’s great. We have a great relationship, and she still loves the show. Sometimes our actors need to spread their wings a little bit. We get that.”
Cohan confirmed in November she had engaged in “creative story conversation about what could happen with the character,” but more recently, when fielding a question about a potential Maggie-centric spinoff, Cohan said answers about her Walking Dead future are “so ambiguous.”
“It’s early days,” Cohan said at the Television Critics Association press tour in February. “We’ll just have to — me, as much as anybody — see what happens.”
Fans should expect resolution to Maggie’s story in one form or another — the Hilltop leader was written off when it was revealed she quietly departed the farming colony to help benefactor Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) with an unnamed, faraway community — but it seems clear the in-demand Cohan’s tenure as a full time cast member on The Walking Dead ended with 905, “What Comes After.”
In November, a joint statement penned by Kang and Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple shared on live aftershow Talking Dead said Cohan’s current final episode “isn’t the end of Maggie’s story,” and its producers “hope to have her back on the big program and or beyond, and we have built a story to service that.”
Whiskey Cavalier airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC. The Walking Dead next airs its Season Nine finale Sunday, March 31 at 9/8c on AMC.
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